Nurses' win with new agreement
RESIDENT Elsie Taylor knows that she is in good hands at St Joseph's Aged Care Facility in Lismore, and the nurses know that they are also in good hands.
This is thanks to a recent enterprise bargaining agreement approved in conjunction with their employer, the Catholic Diocese of Lismore Care Facilities, the NSW Nurses' Association, and the Health Services Union.
“This brings all the aged care workers into the same agreement,” Lismore Diocese human resources manager Toni Russell said.
“So if workers move to a different workplace, no terms and conditions are affected and there is no loss of entitlements,” she said.
“Staff will be able to transfer their annual leave and long service leave.”
The agreement covers clinical and non-clinical staff for the next two years and is setting industry standards in terms of working conditions, Ms Russell claimed.
“For over 714 staff from 14 locations between Port Macquarie and Ballina, the EBA means an increase in pay, paid parental leave for nurses, and equitable working conditions.” she said.
The new pay increases will be backdated to July 1, Ms Russell said, so that staff won't have to wait until the agreement is registered.
Enrolled nurse Kathy Halliday is happy with the changes that the EBA has introduced.
“It's good as it means we will all be equal,” she said.
“I hope it means that people will stay longer in the industry and that more young people will enter it as well.”
Ms Russell said that they were always looking for staff and the EBA would make it easier for workers transferring from different workplaces to retain their skills within the diocese.
“We are aiming to be the employer of choice in aged care in our region,” she said.
“And we are working on delivering the best conditions to attract nursing and non-clinical staff to our facilities.”
The EBA was approved by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission on Tuesday September 1, and replaces the current NSW nursing award agreements.